It's About Time

By Adam Caparell - March 19, 2008

Forty-three days ago, on National Signing Day, Terrelle Pryor sat before a contingent of media in his high school gym in Jeannette, Pa. and told them he needed more time to decide where he'd play next fall.

Exactly six weeks later, Pryor finally made his intentions known Wednesday, announcing that he will take his considerable talents to Columbus where he'll be a star in waiting at Ohio State.

Finally, the most drawn out and anti-climatic recruiting saga, quite possibly in history, is over and we can move on with our lives.

After all, in the weeks leading up Signing Day, and basically once the national championship was over, the one name you heard more than any other was Pryor's. The can't miss prospect, the kid who's going to be a star, the guy who could win multiple Heisman Trophies was hyped to unprecedented proportions and quietly basked in the glory that the national spotlight offered him. That may be the only logical explanation for why we waited so long for a decision.

Why else would the kid delay it for so long? Sure he said he wanted to finish out his basketball season, but why not just get the decision over with and not have to deal with the distraction that came with delaying it. Having Rich Rodriguez and Jim Tressel visiting for basketball games? Dealing with hordes of media not wanting to talk basketball, but football? Being pulled in who knows how many different directions from family, friends, colleges and media? You're telling me that wasn't distracting the past month and a half? From all indications Pryor was dead set to go to Ohio State on National Signing Day, only to be talked out of it by Penn State who was in his father's ear. Now a month later, what new information did he gain, what new insight did he learn about the four schools he had left on his list - Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Oregon? Not a whole lot it seems like considering Pryor never took an official visit to one of the four schools since National Signing Day.

So Ohio State is the big winners this afternoon, but there are plenty of big losers.

Michigan, for starters, lost out on the quarterback Rodriguez so desperately needed for the Wolverines as they look to implement his spread-option offense without the kind of athletes and talent he ideally needs. Penn State and Oregon obviously could have used Pryor as well so they lost out big time. And so did Pryor. He could have put this to rest awhile ago and just got on with his life, but he chose otherwise. Sure he still led his high school to a Pennsylvania state title last weekend, but this whole recruiting episode has only created a negative air about him that, fairly or unfairly, is going to stick with him for some time. Pryor more or less comes off looking like some spoiled professional athlete with an over inflated ego.

Think of it this way: He's like a free agent in baseball, waiting for that one owner - a program in this instance - to guarantee him more than anyone else, to promise him the world, that they'll bring him along, make him a better player, get him to the next level. Chances are Ohio State will do that, but maybe Ohio State turns out to be that program who spends more time and energy landing the hyped player, only to watch him fail to live up to expectations while alienating teammates in the process because of his already inflated sense of self. That could so easily be Pryor.

Buckeyes fans are going to expect the world from Pryor, just don't be surprised if he doesn't deliver. If you believe everything people say about him who have seen him play, then Ohio State and Pryor will be a match made in heaven. But this delay in making a decision has only added to his already considerable legend and the higher they climb, the harder they always fall.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 12:25 PM on March 19, 2008

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